By the time the sun finally set, Frodo had begun to recover. He was eating, or at least drinking, well. He sat up in his bed, a wide bandage around his neck. Sam had brought a chair into the room and a blanket was laid across it. They had all decided to eat dinner in there, so Frodo wasn’t left alone. He smiled as he saw them all sitting on the floor like children, and almost laughed as they fought over the last biscuit. ‘How far we’ve all come,’ he thought, ‘and yet we’ve not moved at all.’
After dinner and dessert and a bit of a smoke, it was decided that Sam would stay in the room with Frodo while Pippin would watch outside Merry’s door.
They went to bed and things seemed quiet for a while. Pippin lay in the hall, his nose whistling softly as he slept. Slowly, the door knob to Merry’s room turned. Pippin awoke just as the door opened. He jumped up and grabbed Merry’s wrist. His cousin just twisted his arm and shoved him with a strength Pippin would not have expected.
“Sam, he’s coming!” Pippin yelled as he scrambled off the floor.
Merry stepped down the hall, eyes closed, face neutral. Whether by memory or by instinct, he found Frodo’s door without searching. When it opened, he couldn’t take a step in before Sam launched himself at him, tackling him to the ground. Merry suddenly woke.
“Ow!” he yelled, “Sam, what’s–” Evaluating the situation, he understood. “Oh, no. Again?” Then a wave of panic hit, “Did I–”
“No,” Pippin assured him, setting him at ease.
“Ow! It’s biting into my skin!” Merry protested as Sam tied the chord around his wrist.
“Better that bite than another,” Sam told him sternly. They were tying Merry to his bed, security against his future liberties.
“Is this really necessary?” Merry asked, almost pleading.
“Ask yourself that, Merry,” Pippin said, then made a slurping sound that made Merry twitch. He made no further argument as they pulled his limbs straight and lashed him to his bed. So he passed the rest of the night, and all four hobbits slept in relative peace, and he was not untied until morning broke.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.